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CNN NEWSROOM

"This Farewell Is Bittersweet"; 20 Tornadoes Reported in Two Days; Chuck Hagel Gets Grilled; NYT: Hackers Breached Computers; X Games Competitor Dies; Reports: Shooting At Atlanta Middle School; Newtown Parents Plead For Change; Life After The Game

Aired January 31, 2013 - 14:30   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN ANCHOR: Bottom of the hour, I'm Brooke Baldwin. Tomorrow is Hillary Clinton's final day as secretary of state. So today's speech at the Counsel of Foreign Relations is likely her last. Here's some of what she had to say moments ago.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

HILLARY CLINTON, SECRETARY OF STATE: Tomorrow is my last day as secretary of state. Though it is hard to predict what any day in this job will bring, I know that tomorrow my heart will be very full. Serving with the men and women of the State Department and USAID has been a singular honor.

Secretary Kerry will find there is no more extraordinary group of people working anywhere in the world. So these last days have been bitter sweet for me. But this opportunity that I have here before you gives me some time to reflect on the distance that we have traveled and to take stock of what we have done and what is left to do.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BALDWIN: Clinton says so far she has no plans to run for president come 2016. In the short-term says she plans to write and do work for her husband's foundation. And now some of the biggest stories in a flash, rapid fire. Roll it.

First off, take a look at this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Apparently, about on the ground here. You can see to the right of this tunnel --

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BALDWIN: That is the Northwest Georgia tornado wiped out about 100 homes. Today all the way from Texas to Pennsylvania, people now are cleaning up debris from as many as 20 tornados. Here is what one survivor in Georgia said he saw when he stopped ducking for cover.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was loud. I came out and I looked out my doors and this is the destruction I saw. Every time I turned my head to look, I can see the supermarket was gone. Another repair shop was gone.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BALDWIN: Now in the wake of that, absolutely cold temperatures are moving in the Upper Midwest meteorologists say we will get the worst of it.

Chuck Hagel grilled today by a former Senate colleague he once called a friend. President Obama's defense secretary nominee got tough questions from Senator John McCain on his opposition to the 2007 troop surge in Iraq.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SENATOR JOHN MCCAIN (R), ARIZONA: Were you correct or incorrect when you said that the surge would be the most dangerous foreign policy blunder in this country since Vietnam. Were you correct or incorrect? Yes or no?

CHUCK HAGEL, DEFENSE SECRETARY NOMINEE: My reference to the --

MCCAIN: Answer the question. The question is were you right or wrong? That's a pretty straight forward question. I would like to answer whether you are right or wrong and then you are free to elaborate.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BALDWIN: A little bit of background here, McCain and Hagel were actually long time friends before a major falling out over the Iraq war. Hagel defended his record today and endorsed President Obama's military policies.

Country singer Randy Travis due in court in Texas today. He is expected to plead guilty to a misdemeanor drunken driving charge. Travis was arrested last August after running his car off a road. Police say Travis was naked and ready to fight when they arrived. The charge against Travis as a misdemeanor could net him up to two years in jail and a $4,000 fine.

Olympic great Michael Phelps has a new sport with zero to do with swimming. Phelps played in the Phoenix Open Pro Am yesterday. He signed a deal with Ping Golf. Phelps says playing golf in the Olympics would be fun.

We are just getting word China has blocked CNN during a Hala Gorani report about hacking in the "New York Times." Hala will join me live to explain what happened next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BALDWIN: Brand-new to CNN, China now blacking out CNN's reporting on a story involving the "New York Times" and hacking. Chinese hackers reportedly stole e-mail passwords for every single "New York Times" employee. The paper says they were used to access the e-mail of the Shanghai bureau chief.

The hackers apparently wanted the names of people providing information for articles on the wealth accumulated by the Chinese premier's family. Chinese officials say that the paper's claims are, quote/unquote "irresponsible accusations lacking solid proof."

CNN International's Hala Gorani joins me. First, before we talk with your "New York Times" interview, this happens periodically, I mean, China is literally watching CNN on air and with the finger on a button.

HALA GORANI, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Right. CNN International is seen in China and so whenever there is a report that could be construed as being critical of the Chinese government, we go black.

In this case we went black in China and we learned this from our sources there and our staff there for 6 minutes to 7 minutes while I was talking about this with the information officer and also the head of the cyber security firm.

BALDWIN: So during this conversation, which went black in China, tell me what the conversation was with the "New York Times."

GORANI: Well, basically, I was asking them what happened because the "New York Times" is saying that the Chinese government hacked its computers that it entered its system and you mentioned that they got the e-mail passwords of journalists at the "New York Times," high profile journalists.

But mainly I think according to the "New York Times," they were trying to figure out what the Shanghai bureau and the Chinese-based correspondents had in their e-mails in terms of sources for a story on the wealth accumulated by the family of the former premier.

The big question is of course, my first question to the "New York Times" chief information officer is does that mean that the Chinese government obtained access to lists of sources? That could endanger, of course, the safety of people who cooperated.

BALDWIN: And he said?

GORANI: He said no. He said no according to him. No sensitive information was compromised. That they essentially contacted AT&T to try to gain access to the network and the way that the Chinese government according to them was attacking their network to try to trace it back.

BALDWIN: And so quickly what about the subscribers of the "New York Times?"

GORANI: Well, again, Mark Fran is saying that the "New York Times," they are trying to reassure the customer that is no sensitive data was accessed. But basically what I said is this, look, when I write an e- mail and I don't know about you, I travel in other parts of the world, I pretty much always assume that is going to be readable.

Absolutely, I make sure and I make 100 percent sure if I am talking to sources in the Middle East whose lives might be endangered if their government finds out that they are talking to reporters, they do not come within 100 feet of my e-mail. You never know when your information can be access. You saw it there.

BALDWIN: Incredible. Hala Gorani, thank you very much.

This tragedy at the X Games, this dare devil stunt went terribly wrong and now we've learned today Caleb Morris's family is reacting to his death.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BALDWIN: More than a week after the snowmobile maneuver that left him clinging to life, X Games competitor Caleb Moore has died. Moore was competing in Aspen, Colorado just last week and before I show you the video, just a warning, you may want to turn away, but this is ultimately what led to his death.

So he was trying to do this back flip and he couldn't rotate his snowmobile enough before landing. It's tough to watch. The skis dug into the ground, slamming the 450-pound machine into his chest and head. His family released this statement.

Let me read it for you. The family wishes to express their deep gratitude for all the prayers and support they have received from all the fans, friends and family around the world that Caleb has inspired.

Caleb Moore was just 25 years old. Stay with me because we will have a live report on Moore's death and its impact on the games in the next hour.

It doesn't get much more passionate than this, the debates over guns.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Liberty of any person to own a military style assault weapon and high capacity magazine and keep them in their home is second to the right of my son to his life.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BALDWIN: Six weeks now after that mass school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut. That community is calling for tougher gun laws. We will hear more of the emotional pleas, next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BALDWIN: Breaking news now, CNN has confirmed a school shooting at a middle school in Atlanta, Georgia. Take a look at these pictures. These are aerial pictures from our Atlanta affiliate WXIA. We are going to look at this together. Obviously, they have cordoned off the school. The school is under lockdown. We are headed to the scene. CNN is en route. This is the -- the name of the school. This is Price Middle School in Atlanta. This is south of downtown. So obviously police officers are swarming the area.

According to affiliates, one person has been shot. We don't know if it was a student, faculty, or staff. There a lot of unanswered questions at the moment here, but we are gathering information. We have a crew en route to the scene here, Price Middle School in Atlanta, Georgia.

School under lockdown, school shooting, as soon as we get more information for you, I promise, we will bring it to you right here on CNN. Along the same vein, let's take about something that happened with a horrendous incident just about six weeks ago in Newtown, Connecticut.

Twenty six students from Sandy Hook Elementary School actually we've now learned will be singing "America the Beautiful" at the Super Bowl pregame show to honor the 20 first graders and six school staffers gun downed in that massive shooting last month.

Meanwhile, Newtown's parents poured out their hearts for hours last night at this emotional hearing on gun violence. Parents who lost their children, they are pleading for change.

Poppy Harlow went to last night's hearing. She joins me now live and Poppy, tell me what you heard from these parents and what changes are most important for them?

POPPY HARLOW, CNNMONEY.COM CORRESPONDENT: Well, you know, Brooke, it went on for six hours and even when they ended at midnight, you know, there were still more people who wanted to talk. I'd say top of mind for the people who want tougher gun rules is universal background checks.

Someone in the audience calling that a no brainer and also a ban on high capacity magazines and assault rifles, but again, even here in Newtown where the tragedy happened, not everyone is on the same page when it comes to limiting gun rights in this country. Every single voice last night no matter what side they were on was respected.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

NICOLE HOCKLEY, MOTHER OF DYLAN HOCKLEY: We all recognize December 14th as the day hell came to Newtown.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We lost our son Benjamin the morning of December 14th.

SCARLETT LEWIS, MOTHER OF JESSE LEWIS: Jesse was 6 years old. He had really soft skin.

HARLOW (voice-over): Remembering their beloved children, Newtown parents pleading for change. DAVE WHEELER, FATHER OF BENJAMIN WHEELER: The liberty of any person to own a military style assault weapon and a high capacity magazine and keep them in their home is second to the right of my son to his life.

LEWIS: These are our children that we are trying to protect and this is our world that we need to work together to make a better place.

HARLOW: Calls for tougher gun laws far outnumbered those arguing guns are not the problem.

BRIAN CHALMER, EMERGENCY MEDICAL TECHNICIAN: Neither the size of the magazine or size of the rifle will affect the actions of evil.

MICHAEL COLLINS, NEWTOWN VOLUNTEER AMBULANCE CORPS: I don't want to be outgunned in a situation.

HARLOW: Michael Collins was nervous to speak in the town still grieving so deeply.

COLLINS: I don't want to have to wait for someone to come to defend me. I want to be able to defend myself.

HARLOW: There was no yelling and no fighting here. Just respect.

DR. WILLIAM BEGG, EMERGENCY ROOM PHYSICIAN: Even though Mike Collins and I disagree, I respect him immensely. My goal is to somehow convince you legislators that gun control measures that you enact will make a difference.

HARLOW: A plea from a doctor who tried to save lives after the massacre.

BEGG: I am asking you to make the right decision on behalf of Newtown, Connecticut and the United States. Thank you.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

HARLOW: And Brooke, at the hearing I had a chance to speak to parent who is lost their kids in this tragedy, the father of that beautiful little girl, Grace McDonald, we all remember her face. He told me I am not here to speak publicly tonight. I am here to listen.

And what stood out to him is that this meeting of all the hearings here in Connecticut about gun violence was really about the community. It was not about outside groups coming in. It was just community members speaking.

So now this task force is going to take all the recommendations from these hearings to leading legislators and they are going make proposals for changes in gun laws here in Connecticut, which are expected to be voted on by the end of the session sometime in June -- Brooke.

BALDWIN: Poppy Harlow, thank you very much, for us from Newtown, Connecticut. Our hearts are with the parents in the community. Again, just a quick reminder, we are watching this situation under way in Atlanta, Georgia, Price Middle school shooting there.

We've learned again that the school is under lockdown and according to affiliates, one person has been shot. Again, one person has been shot. We are making calls and sending a crew there. We can see some people -- we don't have a lot of information, just want to be totally transparent.

But as soon as we get anything more, we will bring it to you here on CNN. and let me just tell you, tonight 8:00 Eastern, Anderson Cooper will be looking at both sides of the gun debate and whether there is a solution, guns under fire, an "AC 360" town hall special tonight at 8:00 here on CNN.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BALDWIN: We are three days away from the big Super Bowl 47 and there certain to be a lot of big hits in the game. But the effects of those hits may not show up in those players for years to come.

And in today, "Human Factor," Dr. Sanjay Gupta introduces us to a former NFL player who certainly took his fair share of hits, but is now doing his part to make the game safer.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Lamar Campbell has achieved what many young men only dream of. After four years of starting for the University of Wisconsin, he made it to the pros.

LAMAR CAMPBELL, FORMER NFL PLAYER: I got offered to camp at the Detroit line as a free agent in 1998. I made the team and played with them for five years.

GUPTA: Injuries ended his NFL career, but Campbell successfully found a new life after the game, as a real estate broker.

CAMPBELL: Welcome back to life after the game.

GUPTA: And radio talk show host on the "Voice America's Sports Network." A platform he uses to educate other players about transitioning to life after football as well as the dangers of injuries you can't really see. Repeated hits to the head.

CAMPBELL: The perception of what a concussion was, was different. I don't think you thought you had a concussion until you were knocked out on the field and looked at that as a badge of honor.

GUPTA: As a player, he didn't know that concussions can cause serious injuries to the brain. Now Campbell says playing football takes years off a player's life.

CAMPBELL: With headaches and migraines.

GUPTA: He says he's also suffered some memory loss.

CAMPBELL: There are situations where I don't remember certain series. I would be out there and not realize what was going on.

GUPTA: While he was never diagnosed, looking back, Campbell believes he had over ten concussions in his football career and he believes players today need to recognize the symptoms and be willing to let their brains heal.

A year ago, Campbell considered donating his brain for research in Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy or CTE. It's a degenerative brain disorder found in athletes with brain trauma and most recently linked to the suicides of former NFL stars Junior Seau and Dave Duarson.

CAMPBELL: I think my decision was made. It was the timing of when to my family. With everything going on when they had the hot topic. They didn't want you to think they were on the verge of doing something that drastic.

GUPTA: I few months ago he sent the paperwork. For him, it was all about giving back to the game making it safer for future generations including his son should he follow in his dad's footsteps. Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN reporting.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BALDWIN: Make sure you watch "SANJAY GUPTA, MD," Saturday at 4:30 p.m. Eastern and Sunday at 7:30 a.m. Eastern here on CNN.